Tuesday, August 28
Teacher Training Tuesday!
So last night’s power class was great! I felt really good and it was a bit of a slower flow which I enjoyed. Two of the students in our class opened and closed the class with a reading which was very cool. The theme they picked was acceptance and love and Amy did a great job of working it into the main part of the class, as well. Amy shared a poignant story about her son having an aha moment about love and that was really cool too. She also emphasized accepting ourselves – all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly and she also emphasized that we need to breathe for others. We never know who might need us to breathe for them and we should give our all. She asked us to notice if we are giving or just taking. Are we loving or just being loved? It was a very deep class – my favorite kind!! I felt stretched, worked out, calm and relaxed after class and was looking forward to the rest of the night. I had no idea how much that theme would resonate with my class experience later in the evening.
Next, we observed a “sequence” class led by Michelle. This 60 minute class includes the basic sequence for Baptiste yoga. While still considered a power class, it is only heated to 80 degrees and includes a set sequence of poses. This is the same sequence that we are learning and will eventually be teaching at our class for our final project. I took notes all through the class about what poses came in what order and what cues to give.
The last part of the class we did round robin teaching. This is when the wheels fell off for me last night. We were to do the Integration series, Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B the normal way we would do it for a class, but Michelle told us when to start and stop and we went around the room. So basically we would start and stop in the middle of the flow. We could use our note cards so I figured no problem, right? Wrong! When it was my turn we were in the middle of Sun A going into Sun B. I got up and started okay, but I had no idea where I was on my note cards so they were no help. At that point I just thought I would go from memory, but I got lost quickly and just started saying random things! I totally screwed up the sequence and could not wait for Michelle to say her pleasant, “thank you”, so I could sit back down! I came back and practically threw my note cards on the floor when I got back to my mat. “That sucked!” and “What a train wreck!!” I whispered to my fellow yogi next to me. She was trying to reassure me that it wasn’t that bad, but I knew better. Soon the tapes started playing in my head, “Why I am doing this? I shouldn’t be here! I suck at this!” and then the tears started to form. I managed to keep them down until we were done with the exercise, partially because soon my feelings of embarrassment turned into feelings of anger. As I listened to one of my fellow students teach her portion with grace and ease I became angry and directed it towards her because she has been teaching yoga for years! I just kept thinking, “why the hell is she even in this class…she is already a teacher?” Before Michelle could even give me feedback I said, “I know, it was a train wreck!”, but she managed to give me some positive feedback saying I was genuine and my personality showed through. She said that I stayed calm even though I forgot part of the sequence. Wow, she didn’t see my fried insides!!
After that I ended up going to the bathroom to compose myself and blow my nose when I began to think logically about this situation. First, my anger was not about any other student in the class. I was angry at myself because I HAD NOT PRACTICED TEACHING AT HOME AT ALL! Have I mentioned that?!! Yes, I did my note cards, but that is about it. I think I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was and I guess I thought I would just be naturally awesome at this teaching thing. Plus, as my yogi friend pointed out, it was my first time. But, lesson learned…again. I need to accept where I am – the good, the bad and the ugly! And, I need to PRACTICE!!
At the end of class, Michelle reminded us that we should use the following order while teaching: pose, breath and the cues. Our homework for next Tuesday is to read pgs. 108-126 in Journey to Power, do note cards for the warrior series, balancing series and triangle and in one class we take this week we are supposed to try all the modifications when they are offered.
As I was sharing my “ugly” class experience from last night with a friend today, she read something from a daily reader she follows. I was amazed at how it fit for me today so I wanted to share:
How many of my frustrations and disappointments come from expecting too much! It is good to set our standards high, but only if we are prepared to accept, with unperturbed serenity, results that fall short of what we expect. Today’s Reminder: Let me learn to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to accept it and appreciate it. I will not expect too much of anyone, not even of myself. Contentment comes from accepting, gratefully the good that comes to us, and not from raging at life because it is not better. This wholesome attitude is by not means resignation, but a realistic acceptance. The reading ended with this quote from Epictetus, “What you have may seem small; you desire so much more. See children thrusting their hands into a narrow-necked jar, striving to pull out the sweets. If they fill the hand, they cannot pull it out and they they fall to tears. When they let go a few, they can draw out the rest. You, too, let your desire go; covet not too much…”